Saturday, November 25, 2017
How to use farm waste to grow mushrooms.Farmers intending to grow mushrooms for sale can use farm waste from their farms to grow the sweet food produce. The waste obtained from maize, sugarcane thrash, sawdust and banana leaves among other crops is ideal for mushroom growing because they thrive on a substratum. Mushroom is not grown on soil like the green plants; it’s grown on broken substrate whereby the crop obtains its nourishment. The crop is steadily gathering pace as one of the preferred sources of investment in agribusiness with a promise of quick returns,mushroom is not a rain fed crop and it requires minimal space for growing. The agricultural waste, which is easily available on farms, is soaked for three days and then heaped for fermentation for four to six days in a closed container. After the fermentation process, the agricultural waste is sterilized through boiling in closed pots for 12 hours in order to eliminate unwanted organisms and bacteria. After cooling, it is filled in small polyethylene plastic bags using common bowls, to serve as a substrate. The substrate should be composed by 65 to 75 per cent of moisture, and for the remaining part by agricultural waste. It can be used for three harvests, and then it can be recycled as organic mulch or fertilizer. Alternatively, cotton seed waste can be used as substrate for oyster mushroom production. Polyethylene plastic bags are filled with the substrate (about five kilograms per bag), which is then inoculated with the mushroom spawns (spawns are ‘mixed’ with the substrate). Each garden of about five kilograms of substrate is filled with about 250 grams of spawns. At that time, plastic bags are closed manually.